#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 8, 2018

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperon Atty. Harry Roque responds to follow up question after the press briefing in Malacañang on January 23, 2018. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO










Good morning Rapplers!

While China's island-building in the West Philippine Sea may be worrisome now, one day, the Philippines will "thank" China for them. This was what Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said as the latest photos of China's militarization of disputed areas surfaced this week.

Meanwhile, House justice committee chairman Representative Reynaldo Umali ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to investigate and determine in two weeks whether or not Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno paid the correct taxes.

In Taiwan, rescuers braved powerful aftershocks to search for survivors in a dangerously leaning apartment block that was partially toppled by a quake, locating two more bodies.

All this and more are on today's wRap.

Roque: One day, we'll thank China for artificial islands

'Clearly, eventually, those artificial islands will be ours if we can ask China to leave,' says Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Impeachment committee rushes BIR to find 'anomaly' in Sereno's tax payments

'They still have nothing on the Chief Justice. The mere fact that it is only now that the BIR is looking into the matter shows that they saw nothing irregular,' says Sereno's spokesperson

HRW calls for end to 'government abuses' in indigenous communities

'Government plans to improve the lives of the Lumad are unlikely to succeed so long as indigenous communities live in fear of violence, exploitation, and abuse,' says Human Rights Watch's Carlos Conde

Commission on Appointments confirms Duque as DOH chief

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III turns emotional during his confirmation hearing as he admits the agency's 'struggles' amid the Dengvaxia controversy

Canada to review helicopter deal with Philippines – reports

There are concerns in Canada over how the 16 helicopters, worth around $235 million, will be used by the Philippine government

Campus journos 'disappointed' over DepEd's termination of partnership with Rappler

The termination occurs two weeks before the National Schools Press Conference in Dumaguete City

Rescuers brave aftershocks as Taiwan earthquake toll rises to 9

The major focus for emergency responders remains the 12-story Yun Tsui apartment block where the majority of the deaths occurred and dozens are still missing

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